Sunday, October 31, 2010

Shutting Up

This week, thanks to my courageous grandson, I’m going to work on shutting up in the classroom. Noah, who is just seven and striving earnestly as a novice reader, was reading to me this afternoon, and I had to seriously struggle to stop myself from helping him. Whenever he paused over a word, I was right there with my bossy sense of helpfulness, ready with a handy hint to keep him going. Always the officious teacher, I was trying way too hard to teach this lad who, I soon realized, just wanted to work this out by himself. Luckily, I learned my lesson within a few minutes, and was soon sitting back and watching my grandson’s straining face as he made his brave way to the end of the story. By shutting myself up, I made it possible for him to have a small triumph, and I intend to take that approach with my students this week. A teacher needs to know when to shut up, watch, and be amazed.

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